| YABLOKO experts hold all the key posts in the Federal
Anti-Monopoly Service (FAMS). Since March the FAMS has been headed by Igor
Artemyev, one of the leaders of the YABLOKO party. Andrei Tsarikovsky,
a member of the YABLOKO Control and Audit Commission, became Deputy Head
of the FAMS. Seven directorates (out of 14), the personnel department,
and the PR department at the FAMS are headed by YABLOKO functionaries.|
According to Artemyev, the newly-formed team will implementYABLOKO's ideas
about the anti-monopoly policy of the state. He claims that he had informed
the President of his intentions at a personal meeting, and that the President
did not object.
It shows that Vladimir Putin is keeping his promise to enlist the services
of experts from the democratic parties that lost the parliamentary elections,
and have them working in the executive
Many YABLOKO members are known as experts in anti-monopoly policy, so their
promotion into the FAMS cannot be viewed as party camaraderie alone. Demonopolising
the economy is one of the most important tasks the government is facing.
The work is difficult and lengthy. Moreover, it is quite a delicate job.
It's necessary to protect and stimulate competition, while avoiding any
On the other hand, the FAMS is just one state body. What is happening there
cannot be viewed as a trend. The Cabinet changeover, leading to the appearance
of many vacancies at once, occurred after the President's promise to enlist
the services of people from theright. Most officials retained their positions,
and Artemyev is virtually the only "party-affiliated" democrat
in the government. Moreover, his powers are restricted. Major monopolies
like Gazprom, Sberbank, and the railroads are controlled by the state and
have political protection that makes them immune.
All the same, Artemyev's example shows that the halls of power are not
off limits for members of the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) and YABLOKO.
At the same time, it would be wrong to sit still and wait for an offer
from the regime. Party members should be pro-active in offering their services
as advisers and experts. It may enable them to establish a certain presence
in the vicinity of executive branch bodies, or even within them. This would
be worthy compensation for their absence from parliament.